Google Is Found (Kind of) Guilty in Java Trial (Updated)

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The verdict is in for the Oracle vs. Google trial on whether Java was used improperly in the development of Android. The answer? Yes, sort of.

The jury ruled that Oracle has proven that Google's admitted use of Java was infringing on Oracle's API. Specific portions of code were ruled as infringing Oracle's copyright or not, but the decision states that the overall structure and sequence of Java had been infringed. There was no decision on whether it fell under fair use. Google's already moved for a mistrial on the grounds that the verdict could not include partial answers.

The Java lawsuit stretches back to 2010, after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. Over time, it became pretty clear that yes, Google had probably used Java without going through all of the proper motions. Google's remained firm, stating that it's done nothing wrong, but there's a lot of evidence to the contrary, like an internal memo from Andy Rubin stating, "My proposal is that we take a license."


That all sounds pretty grim for Google. But today's ruling actually doesn't look too bad from Mountain View's side of the aisle. While infringements were found, Judge Alsup also ruled that liabilities were confined to nine lines of code, and tossed aside Oracle's wider claims on profits gained from Android's use of Java.


And here's the other thing: Android is not in any serious danger here. There will probably be many more months of trials and appeals and proceedings before we get down to anything final, and even then it will probably be a large settlement. [Twitter]